From 2001-2008, Carlos Beltran was at least a five-win player every year except for '05. Even last year, despite missing July and August with a bone bruise behind his knee, Beltran provided value. However, the Mets and Beltran battled about his decision to have January knee surgery, a procedure that delayed his 2010 debut until July 15th. Beltran's first 90 plate appearances and 180 innings in center field have gone so poorly that David Waldstein of the New York Times says the Mets would let him go for nothing if a team claims him off waivers this month.
Waldstein finds a waiver claim "extremely unlikely," as Beltran is owed over $5.5MM this year and $18.5MM in 2011 before his contract is up. He has a full no-trade clause. Waldstein expects the Mets to be open to trading Beltran this winter but believes the outfielder's salary will be an impediment. He suggests the Mets would be reluctant to assume much of Beltran's contract in a trade.
This might be fantasy baseball-type talk, but I can't help but notice that the money owed to Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano matches up closely with the money owed to Beltran, Luis Castillo, and Oliver Perez.